In partition actions the court generally resolves all conflicting claims existing between the parties arising out of their relationship as cotenants. This typically includes an accounting with reimbursements for costs, expenses and improvement by one cotenant to the extent they disproportionately contribute to the property’s ongoing costs.
These costs along with any allowable attorneys’ fees and court costs are reimbursed in partition actions before any distribution to the parties. The distribution of funds following the sale typically follows the following priority order:
1. Payment of costs to be reimbursed to a party or parties who have previously expended a larger share of the property expenses than their share of property ownership. These costs include possible attorney fees for an attorney engaged for the common benefit of the parties, fees and expenses for a referee or third persons hired by the referee, cost of title reports and interest on any of these expenditures.
2. All liens of record are then paid according to their order of priority.
3. The balance of the proceeds are then distributed among the parties. The court can, however, apply offsets or credits that may be due from one cotenant to the other cotenant.
Obviously, obtaining costs in a partition action is a key consideration both at the outset of a partition action all the way through the ultimate partition sale of the property. Knowing what a partitioning party can expect to recover (or even hope to recover) is important part of litigation planning in any partition case.
For help with your partition matter or a free 30 minute consultation, please contact Schorr Law’s real estate attorneys at 310-954-1877, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.schorr-law.com or by filling out the contact box on this page.